Although it is widely believed the Chicago Bulls are a real player to land New York Knicks’ free agent forward Carmelo Anthony, it is also widely believed he will re-sign with the Knicks, especially if a report claiming the Bulls only offered him a four-year, $64 million deal are true.
That will cause the Bulls to look elsewhere to improve their offense and they met with Los Angeles Lakers free big man Pau Gasol on Thursday. The Bulls will likely use the amnesty clause to waive Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson is expected to take over for him at power forward. However, if Gasol is signed, Gibson will likely still have to come off of the bench. Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun Times reports the Bulls offered Gasol a starting job.
That’s why the meeting with free agent Pau Gasol on Thursday in Los Angeles was so important to the Bulls brass. If Anthony does forfeit his integrity from earlier interviews this season when he said it wasn’t about the money and does grab the check from the Knicks, the Bulls still feel they will be well positioned in the Eastern Conference with the additions of Gasol, Mirotic and rookie draft pick Doug McDermott.
A source did say that in the talks with Gasol, the veteran was told that there would be a starting job for him with the Bulls. That would mean that Taj Gibson can remain a Sixth Man of the Year candidate for another season, coming off the bench.
It would also allow the Bulls to keep Mike Dunleavy and Jimmy Butler. At least one of them – maybe both – would have to go in order to ink Anthony as a free agent.
Gasol averaged 17.4 points, 9.7 rebounds 3.4 assists and 1.5 blocks per game last season. He shot 48.0% from the field, 28.6% from beyond the arc and 73.6% from the free throw line